An example of the original Pommes Anna as one large potato cake that gets sliced into wedges.
This buttery golden potato cake known as pommes Anna originated in 19th-century Paris when Adolphe Dugléré, chef of the Café Anglais, created it for his favorite customer – the celebrated courtesan Anna Deslions. Here, one of our favorite cookbook authors, Molly Stevens, minimizes the large cake into small individual muffin-sized stacks with a single-serve attitude.
It is essential that you slice the spuds uniformly very thin using a food processor fitted with the slicing blade or a mandoline. Given that the potatoes were small, I used my mini-mandoline instead of breaking out our industrial strength appliance. After tossing with melted butter and chopped fresh thyme, arrange slices in overlapping, concentric circles in the bottoms of the parchment-lined and buttered muffin rounds. It conveniently works out that 6 small potatoes fills 12 cups.
Definitely more time-intensive than baked or mashed potatoes, these gems are worth the effort. Time to impress your guests!
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 12-24 small tender thyme sprigs plus 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped leaves
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 3/4 pounds small waxy potatoes (such as Yukon Gold or German Butterball), each slightly larger than a golf ball
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Brush muffin cups all over with butter. Line bottoms with parchment-paper rounds. Arrange 1-2 small thyme sprigs in center of each round. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon butter into bottom of each cup.
- Add chopped thyme and garlic to remaining butter in saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Using mandoline, slice potatoes crosswise into very thin rounds (about 1/16-inch thick), placing them in a large bowl as you work. Pour herb butter over and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat well.
- Divide potato slices among muffin cups, layering overlapping slices to create a circular pattern. Lightly press center of each to make compact. Drizzle any remaining butter and seasoning from bowl over the tops.
- Cover muffin pan tightly with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until potatoes can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife, about 35 minutes. Remove foil; invert a rimmed baking sheet over pan.
- Turn, lightly tapping on counter, releasing potatoes onto sheet. Rearrange any slices that may have fallen out. Using a metal spatula, carefully turn cakes, thyme sprigs facing down. Discard parchment.
DO AHEAD Potatoes can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.
- Increase heat to 425°. Uncover cakes if needed. Bake until bottoms and edges are golden and crispy, 25-30 minutes. Carefully turn cakes, thyme sprigs facing up.
These glistening jewels were served along with a roasted leg of lamb for Easter dinner, and company adored them.
Recipe by Molly Stevens